Truly “Rational” Polytherapy: Maximizing Efficacy and Minimizing Drug Interactions, Drug Load, and Adverse Effects
Erik K. St. Louis.
While several newer AEDs have study data that support monotherapy usage, most possess FDA indications for adjunctive treatment of partial onset seizures, leading to their initial (and often persistent) clinical use as adjunctive polytherapy for patients with refractory epilepsy. This review considers a practical approach to the appropriate role for polytherapy in epilepsy, presents the evidence for AED polytherapy, reviews the mythic but practically reasonable concept of “rational polytherapy,” and concludes with practical strategies for avoiding and employing polytherapy in clinical practice. The appropriate indications for AED polytherapy include transitional polytherapy during titration of a new adjunctive AED toward monotherapy or long-term maintenance AED polytherapy in medically refractory epilepsy.
Keywords: Epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs, polytherapy, drug load, drug interactions
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